Conservatives make appeal to older voters

By staff

David Cameron made an appeal for older people to join his ‘big society’ plan with the launch of the Conservative’s ‘Older People’ manifesto today.

Speaking in Swindon as part of a tour of west country constituencies, where his speech was watched by his parents, the Conservative leader said: “At the start of this campaign I said we would fight this election for the people who are ignored in our society, the ones who work hard, pay their taxes, live decent lives and yet feel they are sidelined. And I think that is most true of the older generations in our country.”

Mr Cameron promised to link the state pension to earnings by 2012, and to investigate how to stop the compulsory retirement age.

Saying that retired people are often overlooked and not catered to by government and the media, he said: “I’m going to be very clear about what I want to do. I want to bring older generations right into the mainstream of our national life. Yes, to treat them with respect and kindness. Yes, to give them the dignity and security they deserve.

“But also to call on their wisdom and values.”

Talking about his father’s service on parish councils and his mother’s time as a magistrate, he discussed the older generation’s willingness to play their part in the community and how he wants to bring them into his ‘big society’ ideas.

His approach contrast with that of his rival in the polls, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who today has appealed to young people to vote.